The shackles bend and break.
Snapping like the devil’s back.
Sweet freedom, the taste of honey.
The air alive with thunder.
It’s so lonely out there you hear in a whisper.
Dark trees breathe out a darkness.
The black sky swallowing you whole.
What a volcanic shift there is in your soul.
Tears from god. He always thought of that in the heavy downpours. The type where you can feel the stinging weight of the raindrops on your body, the cold water pelting your face. His mother used to call it that, heavenly tears. What was god crying about all the time?
He’d set off into the night just as the first drops had begun to fall. He’d smelt the rain coming, rushing to put on his boots and set out into the village to catch it. He’d grabbed his jacket but didn’t bother with an umbrella. He wanted to feel the water tonight. He wanted to feel something.
The sun had set hours ago and the hazy glow of the streetlights above him blossomed down the road he was taking. Each a branch up out of the dead black road beneath his feet, offering beautiful orbs of light to the angels above him, and who were threatening to leave. He saw how the sheets of the rain splintered across the face of the lights, little streaks through the glow like tiny missiles before disappearing into the void of the nothing.
That nothing welcomed him tonight as he walked. It spoke to him of a new solitude which he was happy to lay his bones within. The night and the rain were pure and wild, base elements that ravaged the world. He’d stepped into them before, drowning once and becoming lost in the darkened forest of his mind.
Tonight he just needed to walk. To smell the fresh air and feel the waters smother his face. The coldness came with the rain tonight also, and he watched his breath escape out into the air like his soul leaking away. He licked his lips, tasting the rain water; feeling the flecks of the divine in those tears shed from above.
The village began to open up into fields at this end, sweeping pastures plunging down the valley where the water would rush and flow like a tide on land, going out in a grassy sea. He heard nothing but the falling rain, but he watched as lonely cars moved slowly off in the distance. Little specs of light, haunting eyes that hovered across the fields where the main road was. What lives did those little tin cars carry? What stories and sadness did the souls within survive. Somewhere tonight he thought, one of those cars will fall victim to strong salty tears. Skidding and colliding somewhere and snuffing out the contents within. Plunging an unfolding tragedy into the lives of those who knew, loved and would now miss those dying embers. Collecting rain water in the crumpled remains of the squashed tin can.
His mind had become saddened as late. His body had struggled to move in the mornings when the alarm would ring in a new day like a gospel chorus. He muscles and bones a defying demon to the angelic blessing of the new dawn. He would lurk in the shadows of life, disconnect from the buzzing beast of the people he knew.
He only stepped out when it rained.
It would wash something away, something out of him. He felt it down on his clothes, the gravity of the water that was pulling down into the DNA as he walked. And he walked through the village, out towards the fields. Watching the clouds and the little lights that blinked in and out like struggling stars.
Then there was his own tired tears, that he could no longer censor. He would cry his own monsoon when he was truly alone. Weeping out to add to the rain until his forehead ached and his throat was sore. He let the ghosts in, and they would pillage his mind. Playing films in his head that he felt were on repeat. Never able to rewind or go back. Never flooded out by the rising waters that surged over everything, all but the things he most wanted most to drown.
He came to the end of the track he’d be walking. The huge brambles and blackberry bushes converged to block the way. Forcing a path would tear at the skin, ripping open the sore and cold meat that had begun to sting in the frigid air and water. So he turned on the spot, pirouetting like a shadowy ballerina in this hidden dark ballet. Watched only by the audience of nature which cowered in the bushes and the trees, watching for him to retreat.
He walked back the way he came, the roads now washing the rain water down the streets and into the gullies and drains. Leaves and litter sped on those miniature streams, washing away the dirt and despair. He wanted to open a vein and let the vermillion river meet these streams. Wash out the leaves and the junk of his heart and wring his organs dry.
Crossing the street he saw into the windows of the Fountain, the village pub which cast cosy a warmth in the sea of blackness. The huge fire was roaring and people stood and chatted around it with drinks in their hands. The windowpanes ran with the raindrops, tiny tears streaking down giving the people within a false sadness. He could not enter there, he could not be like that. The fire and warmth called to him, but he’d been burnt before. Touched by a heat and love that all too soon had smothered and gone out. He could still smell the dying of that hearth, still remembered the splutter and the death until there was nothing but ash.
He hurried on by, the rain not relenting. It still felt good, it still felt like something. Returning to his house, he stood in the driveway, looking up to the bedroom light which had been left on in his haste to depart. The little light behind the glass cast a shaft out into the night, like a lighthouse warning of danger. He took a step forward, and hesitated. Had he turned the light on at all?
He stayed on the spot and let the rain fall around him, off in the distance he heard the slow rumblings thunder. A struggling beast waiting to get up from underneath a mountain. The light in his bedroom switched off as he blinked the water out of his eyes. He dropped the keys he’d been clutching and turned around, heading off back into the night.
Heading off again into the tears from god.
We can’t remember the beginning.
And were ill prepared for the end.
You wipe these tears away with shaking hands.
Kissing where you know life begins.
Yet all we are now are bodies full of leaves.
Turned by the autumn of memories.
Dying inside, as your winter descends.
Freezing the love and covering all,
in white tragic space.
With all this talk of heaven.
Lapping at your feet.
Washes only the surface.
Never flowing deep.
For inside the bones are rotten.
And the sins stain and swell.
Redemption is forgotten.
Perpetuating your own hell.
Death comes, not in the sudden felling of your tree of life.
That monumental crash in the wooded realm of existence.
Or in an avalanche of silent demise,
Crashing into white off a precipice that follows a climb.
Death never leaves a new life.
It breathes silently on your skin.
Like a misty voice, cold and condensed.
Dew dropping its pain along the way.
Watching as your petals of life fall.
A new one each day.
These souls so full they re-align.
Separated by thoughts and time.
Which hold a love that extends to all.
Who reign above, and for those who fall.
And do not let the world go dark.
But ignite the hope within each spark.
This alchemy that turns hate to kind.
Our lives, our world, all intertwined.
Failures washed over his workbench, dripping down his life. His quest to find the secret of changing lead into gold had consumed and shaken his soul. Yet he had merely strayed from the path he was meant to travel, clouded by the misty haze of obsession. When a little book comes into his life, it realigns his fate and lets the alchemy truly begin.
‘Alchemy’ is a story about a man’s evolution at the end of his life and how his preciousness is valued, not in the gold he makes; but the changes that he conjures. Strewn around poems that lead from dreams to magic, and prayers to happiness; the story navigates from despair to adjustment in surreal and magical landscapes.
Poetry and storytelling collide in this hybrid tale that mixes spirituality with personal well-being.
Alchemy is out now in e-book and paperback.
We stand on the shore, called down by the ocean.
The sweet swell motions the blood.
Reminds me I am human.
I feel safe in this storm.
As the wind rushes these bones.
Threatening the inevitable damage, I wait for the change.
Holding out for such wild destruction.
This land knows me not, we are but visitors here.
Collecting coconuts of contempt that we store for every season.
Each man an island. Each one built on sand.
Atlantis parading in peril.
Off on the horizon the ship struggles.
Souls shuffle, towards that great divide.
For that I cry.
But the tempest suffocates.
Throws away my tears, out into the eye that hovers.
And weeps only painful laments.
God watching on, lifting no finger.
Remembering the flood.
Soon we are drowning, smashed by the waves.
Broken on the shore of our lives that already began to recede.
I crawled once from the sea.
And too it now, we have returned.
Scattered and in pieces.
Littering the ocean floor.
These trailing stars that shatter through our existence.
Leave chaos and beauty in their wake.
Transcended diamonds embedded in our skin.
Fires burning deep within.
What golden light are we trapped beneath.
Such hazel eyes of god.
My soul is a blackness wrapped around your galaxy.
As you pass through like a luminous shooting star.
Leaving varying traces of your continuance.
Vibrating this space with only departure and grace.
Caring not for the planets that fall.
Based on the poem ‘Escape‘, click the image below for the video artwork.
Lots of people were afraid. Rational and irrational fears grew like ivy in the cluttered world he lived in. As Jeremiah found, fear was just a part of life. His sister had always been afraid of spiders. Snakes too, though spiders were a more an everyday hazard, bringing out an alarming response from her no matter who was around. He never forgot the day she found one in her bed when she was going to sleep, the screams had echoed down into the street making the dogs in the neighbour’s garden bark. They had shared a bedroom in the old house then, out of necessity more than anything else.
It wasn’t until he was five years old that he had a room of his own. Of course, this came with the collapse of his parent’s marriage and he would have traded in a second the large bedroom at his father’s house, for the pokey one he shared with his sister. At least that way they would still be together. But people, like marriages collapse. His sister departing only a year into his larger bedroom life, not from a spider attack, but from the leukemia that had corroded her from the inside.
Jeremiah was afraid of one thing, and one thing only. He was afraid of time. How it snuck in on him and those he loved. Snatching away those things and people he held dear. Turning, tumbling and changing his little world that he would want to keep secret and safe under a bell jar. He would look up into the night’s sky and see the stars blinking above him. Fixed into position like reliable Christmas lights, always there like the season; waiting to bring joy.
When he was much older, he learned the true nature of space. The twirling chaos that attacked the cosmos, with everything in flux. But for that six year boy within him still, he would always see safety and security in the stars. His friends that were always there like jewels in black cement.
Jeremiah though was understanding about people’s fears. He understood why his sister had been afraid of spiders. How her mind would run with a thousand possibilities of what could happen, and the deathly mist that surrounded them and the poisonousness possibilities. Much like he understood people’s fear of flying. He had met an old lady on a flight to Rome once before, sitting in the aisle seat next to him. She was so afraid, her white knuckles had gripped onto the armrest for the duration of the flight; her eyes closed as if in silent prayer to keep her aloft and to land safely in the eternal city. He had wondered what she was so desperate to live for, what in her life was she so afraid of losing. One’s own death being usually a horrible climax of pain and distress, but momentary. What was she so afraid of not completing? What had her life really been about?
He had sat there himself on that small plane, thousands of miles above the French Alps, watching the snow-capped peaks shimmering in the sun. If they were to descend, collapse in a fiery demise and be strewn in wreckage across the snowy landscape; what was he missing out on? What in his life was he left to accomplish or leave behind? He would be missed of course. His partner would be distraught, and tears would be shed; at least he hoped would. But life would go on, time would cover the hurt up in sand and silence. Changing once more the nature of things.
Time. His biggest enemy.
He had landed in Rome safe and sound, the flight not having crashed like many unfortunate others had. He had quit his job that very day, enjoying a nice little holiday there instead of the work he had come there to do.
If he had known he were to die at the age of thirty three, Jeremiah would probably not have done things much different than he had. He would most likely have avoided a lot more arguments. Those stupid back and forths with people over things that mean nothing to the wider universe. He knew time was always against him, under his feet like an escalator he couldn’t stop or slow down. In this way, he lived a full life. He understood the preciousness and fragility of it all. He squeezed his partner a bit more when they hugged and kissed. He meant it more when he said I love you. Perfection was not to be a part of his existence on earth, yet Jeremiah saw the bigger picture. It was all a blink in the eye of God, and he knew he had no time to waste.
When at thirty three, he reached the top of the escalator, he glanced over the side to see how far he’d come. It all looked so small and crushable from his vantage point. He was alone, but he wasn’t sad. He could see his friends glittering their celestial magic as diamonds across the inky black. Their luminosity radiant and strong like a million burning suns. And he took his place in the stars, content and happy that the clocks had finally stopped ticking.
He lay on the bed and watched the clouds out the window.
With closed eyes he felt the storm.
Vibrating the hairs on his skin like ghosts passing through.
He buried himself of course, there on his bed.
Sinking into the sheets like a body into a grave.
He was dead from the waist down.
Waiting for the little chalky helpers to plunge the skull.
But the water he felt was from the rain, which tapped at his brain.
Droplets of doubt and remorse.
Tidal fantasies of being swept away.
Yet forever he would lay, in that state of not doing.
Making love to paralysis with the sweet relief of excuse.
He died three days ago, yet still he talked.
Arguing with god, cursing the devil.
Gnawing at the skin of self in a heated display of shame.
He’d known death before of course.
It rattled and moaned around his house since that day.
That awful Tuesday when they left.
He had grown new skin. He had tried to begin again.
But death remained a friend, like a wad of gum stuck in his soul.
He blamed it, he shamed it. He cursed and versed in vain to it.
It was there now, the sad spectator to an actual demise.
Apathetically sweeping up the dust, like one would make a bed.
That bed which heaved with the weight of his guilt.
Throwing out the dreams that played on the ceiling.
While the nightmares wormed underneath.
That bed which was his last embrace now.
Peppered in petals that masked the thorns.
Intimately feeling its way underneath his skin.
And swallowing him forever, in the dandelions of demise.
This little prayer, whispered through tears.
Finds the wings of doves to reach the sky.
But the crows get there first.
Tearing it to pieces.
Ripping it to grief.
So the tears remain.
Staining a soul which flutters.
Like a fragile cry caught in a circumstance.
Splattering over a bleeding heart.
Soaking the feathers and down.
Is it really redemption if it comes so easy?
What cost is paid in tears that no one sees?
You handle me like sad broken happiness.
Planting the dead bits of me like seeds.
A flawed parlour trick turning on sympathy.
Coated in words that stick like regret.
You try to scrub this soul clean, sucking out the darkness.
Breaking yourself, to let in the light.
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She made herself lost, scratching out her own identity.
How easy the shadows consumed, filling in the voids.
Washing deep into the caves of her soul.
To disappear completely, to cut those cords.
The attachments hurt like rotting teeth.
The tear was quick, rip-trip-flick.
Out into the wide blue, putting an ocean of miles between;
that harrowing of self. The death of dreams.
To be lost entirely tickled her within. Feeling the butterflies rise.
Like when she was a child.
Tantalisingly fluttering on possibilities.
She followed the breeze, winding over roads of bad intentions.
Finding herself underneath rocks and inside the corpses of birds which flew too high to the sun.
She heard her own voice in every crash of a wave, and the cry of each night making way for the dawn.
Her reflection she saw, rippling in the sea of tranquillity and in the eye of god.
To be lost, was how she found her soul.
Cast away on that tiny little craft of self.
On no-one’s tide.
Swallowing only her own light.
This is how she hoped it could be, all lost of time and space and never found.
And still she floats, and dives and flies.
Further from the sun each day, hoping to escape her own Milky Way.
Caught and spun, little one.
With moon dust charcoal delirium.
Pulled down, in gravity’s smile.
Replaced with apathetic juveniles.
Scream out, and shut down.
They still laugh, at the tears of a clown.
For you it rains, transitional pain.
A disappearing all over again.
But what if you survived it?
And what if you changed.
What if your revived it?
Skywards hopeful, shooting free.
In sweet delicious open lunacy.
Fragile youth fades in the blink of earth’s eyes.
But your stars remain, in your own private sky.
I die a little every time you say goodbye
every time you say hello
this deep ache of desire and passion
rests just below the surface
I try, oh how I try!
to keep me hidden from your eyes
fear whispers I will overwhelm
perhaps frighten you far away from me
this intensity, my love for you
I’m a spider on my web
I just want to wrap you up in sticky silk
step back and drown in your beauty
don’t struggle, my love! I’d cry
it’s just I love you so much
as your limbs would shudder and quake
and your eyes would dim
and my love will have suffocated you
I only wanted you
I only wanted you to love me too
tara caribou | ©2019
That wind howling.
Striking the tear that sits on a cheek.
Like a queen on a throne, wishing to abdicate.
The flood rising.
Dampening a thought in the dock of the mind.
Waving from the higher ground.
Chisel your hatred into our bones.
Fill our teeth with words peppered in distaste.
Swallow and sink the weight of history.
The flames rising.
Catching little tinder boxes placed in fire trapped hearts.
Wanting the world to burn, like hungry moths.
The earth sighing.
Cracking from the inside out as it shoots through space.
Fading into time, like your lies and disgrace.
Speak to me in delicious dreams.
The weighty shrouds yearning to be unravelled.
Long have we both lay dormant.
Pooling words and hurt inside these broken bones.
Ignition sparks from redemption.
Static colossal movements, like the heavens shifting.
And pain retreating.
The covering of clouds which take us far away from here.
Feeling the future like precious see through gold.
Ecstatically we disappear.
Esoteric sounds lie heavy in the air.
A calling, during the severing.
Deep dark pits that burrow into the earth.
Lay grinning, awaiting to swallow the cast aside past.
Life, like a kitchen table; un-pretty yet stable.
Holds the weight of what the angels let fall.
Sweet apples off their vine’s.
The well is dry, the phone is dead.
All connections are lost.
In that moment of sutterment.
Keep quiet, hear the utterment.
Close your eyes to what is being read.
The future hangs in those gum trees.
It murmurs in that warm southern ocean tide.
Deliverance from the space that darkness possessed.
Awash with light in which to drown.
Soft misty words of hope, that piece the world together again.
Dreaming hopeful and sifting sand.
A hollowed doubt in a burning hand.
As eyes peel back and strip the moon.
This silent feeling is gone too soon.
We count the days as they fall like birds.
With tarred up feathers and swallowed words.
Two throbbing hearts break forth and run.
Leaving shadows and souls in that dying sun.
As the heat raises the veins, little ridges of tracks.
This voice travels through those purple tunnels.
The tinkling of endorphins.
An inner voice of confirmation.
God splashing around in the scarlet nightmare.
But the beat in the chest, is the blood hitting the walls.
Everything now comes alive.
Tiny touches, like giant leaps on the moon.
Cradle a feeling that returns us to childhood.
Where sticky iced creamed hands shake at the thought of summer.
To see the flowers bloom.
Or the sun burst out of the sky.
Is the announcing of a state.
A passive suggestive trait.
That happiness finds us in the end.
(https://slumdogsoldier.wordpress.com/novel/ – begin at the beginning)
‘Stay down, you piece o’ shit!’
It should be a dark and stormy night. It really should. Instead, as Craig Harper is pressed back into the wall with a knife at his throat, it’s drizzling quite pathetically.
At least if the weather’s not being professional about this, his opponent is. The short thickset man isn’t messing around. His knife rests over Craig’s carotid, beneath his jaw; not dead-centre of the throat where all he’ll do is slash Craig’s trachea open and let him asphyxiate instead of bleeding out. God, will he ever stop being a soldier? The curse of his profession – Craig knows exactly what’ll happen to him: the slumping deadweight of his corpse, his gurgling death rattle – when Shorty will inevitably open his throat in a lurid smile and watch him drown in his own blood.
So no, is the answer. Craig’s…
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With a tapping on these hollow bones.
Yet the tender skin, pulls you in.
These eyes blink as they reconstruct.
Speaking words that silently fill the air, with one harvesting look.
It’s these systems that are used, drummed out of fallen trees that stood watching over the dinosaurs.
Pouring that sticky sap into golden ears.
It’s seems delicious that movement.
Skin that sways like a moon tide, drifting into aching harbours.
Wooden bones, felled in a Pisces rising.
The sweetest time to hew and marvel.
Yet a switching off of this world leaves you vacant.
Wandering in that pasture where the insects buzz and sting.
That filter you use offers no clemency.
As poison needs no audience to flood the blood.
And you are now too far from home to be saved.
So we’ll bury you where you lay.
Covering you in shells and sweet kisses.